Jesus is the reason for the season because he brings hope to both bleak and bustling lives, for those of us in the darkness and those who’ve simply forgotten to slow down and enjoy the presence and love of our Savior.
"Jesus is the reason for the season" can sometimes sound like a Christian cliché but if we let it, this can be a profound statement that shifts our mindset. Jesus is the reason for the season because he brings hope to both bleak and bustling lives, for those of us in the darkness and those who’ve simply forgotten to slow down and enjoy the presence and love of our Savior.
My daughter made plans to pull out Christmas decorations. She anticipated celebrating the reason for the season: Jesus. The only problem: we hadn’t even celebrated Thanksgiving yet. But after a conversation, and a little frustration vented, I agreed. After all, we live in a world desperate for hope. There are people who don’t have direction, are grieving, or longing for a second chance. Why not toss up a few decorations early to bring focus on Jesus—both in our minds and on display for others?
Reminders of Hope This Christmas Season
For many, Christmas ushers in the season of hustle and bustle. There are gifts to buy, trees to top, Christmas plays to attend, and parties to enjoy. Our wallets feel the stress and so do we. But for others, there’s little joy and even less hope. Some may feel like they’re scrambling to escape the clutches of darkness due to grief, depression, feelings of worthlessness, discouragement, and more.
Thank God, Jesus is the reason for the season. Yes, thank God! He brings hope to both bleak and bustling lives, for those of us in the darkness and those who’ve simply forgotten to slow down and enjoy the presence and love of our Savior. Further down in this piece are 15 scripture reminders of hope this Christmas. But first, let’s focus on Jesus and the holiday.
Why Is Jesus the Reason for the Season?
There’s a lot of conversation and, honestly, a bit of controversy about Christmas and its celebration being on December 25. Why? Some say Christmas was created to counter a pagan holiday and worldly approach and not necessarily a celebration on the day of Jesus’ actual birth. An article called “What Is Christmas: Understanding the History and Origin” on Crosswalk.com indicates many celebrations—pagan and religious—have occurred on or near December 25th. Regardless of how many celebrations there are, one truth remains. None except Christmas offer true hope. Only the birth of Jesus gives us that.
God sent us His son, through the virgin birth of Mary, to offer salvation for the world. The Christmas season is meant to celebrate not only the birth of Jesus but the gift of His life, death, and resurrection. Christ, the hope of the world, loves you and I. He’s available when we simply call on His name. He forgives our sins and assures us of a future in heaven. He comforts and brings hope. Why not celebrate Him and His birth and make Jesus the reason for the season?
Missing the Point of Christmas
Sometimes we get so busy during the holidays that we forget we have hope. We miss the point of Christmas, placing importance on gifts and parties—not Jesus.
But this year, you and I don’t have to miss out. We can cling to His hope, revel in His love—spread it too—and experience the embrace of the Savior born in that simple manger. Below are 15 verses to help us do this.
Old Testament Prophecy about Jesus
1. “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14 WEB)
Jesus wasn’t yet born, but several from Old Testament times proclaimed his coming. And it came to pass.
2. “There shall come forth a shoot out of the stock of Jesse, and a branch out of his roots shall bear fruit.” (Isaiah 11:1 WEB)
The lineage of Jesus contains a phenomenal and hope-filled list of names. It includes Jesse and David, Rahab and Ruth. We find the rich, the poor, the outcasts, and even those who were well-loved. Check out Matthew 1 for this list.
A Signal for All
3. “In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples--of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious.” (Isaiah 11:10 WEB)
He’s a signal. Perhaps those twinkling lights can spur remembrance of this one truth.
New Testament Verses about Jesus
He Lived Among Us
4. “The Word became flesh, and lived among us. We saw his glory, such glory as of the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14 WEB)
He’s not an unrelatable God. He lived among us.
A Holy Conception
5. “But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’” (Matthew 1:20-21 WEB)
Only God could create a baby this way. Yet another reason to celebrate.
Jesus: A Savior
6. “For there is born to you, this day, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11 WEB)
Because of sin, we need a Savior. Mankind finds no other entrance to heaven than through Jesus, this Savior. He’s the reason for hope and our future.
7. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23 WEB)
God gives us a free gift. When we unwrap that package, we find eternal life in Christ Jesus. We can live with Him in heaven. Don’t miss this free gift. Accept it today. Here are prayers you can pray for salvation. Hope starts here.
8. “But when the kindness of God, our Savior, and his love toward man, appeared, not by works of righteousness, which we did ourselves, but according to his mercy, he saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, which he poured out on us richly, through Jesus Christ, our Savior; that, being justified by his grace, we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:4-7 WEB)
Kindness, from God and among people, continues to be one of the best gifts we can give and receive.
9. “Of the increase of his government and of peace there shall be no end, on the throne of David, and on his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from henceforth even forever. The zeal of Yahweh of Hosts will perform this.” (Isaiah 9:7 WEB)
During the busyness of the season or in dark times, remember that in Jesus, we find unending peace.
A Son is Given
10. “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be on his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6 WEB)
Our gift: the Son. But Jesus is not just a child. He’s the Prince of Peace, the Mighty God.
Good News and Great Joy
11. “There were shepherds in the same country staying in the field, and keeping watch by night over their flock. Behold, an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. The angel said to them, ‘Don't be afraid, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be to all the people. For there is born to you, this day, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This is the sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth, lying in a feeding trough.’” (Luke 2:8-12 WEB)
The shepherds found hope in this good news. The continuation of this passage tells us they didn’t simply stand around, though. They sought out Jesus. God led them faithfully, and when they found the Messiah, an unassuming baby with a lineage that might have made a few folks shake their heads, they worshiped. We can seek and worship Him, too.
A Gift of Love
12. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16 WEB)
God’s gift is love, precious love.
Hope - Jesus is the Reason for the Season!
Hope in His Mercy
13. “The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.” (PS 147:11 KJV)
Peace Through Jesus
14. “Being therefore justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; through whom we also have our access by faith into this grace in which we stand. We rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” (Romans 5:1-2 WEB)
Eternal Life: Ultimate Hope
15. “[T]hat whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:15 WEB)
When December 25th rolls around this year, remember hope awaits you. His name is Jesus. He’s the light of the world, according to John 8:12. I hope He’s the light of your world, too. And truly, He’s the reason for the season. Wherever you are, friend, Merry Christmas!
Kristi Woods, writer and speaker, is passionate about women walking deeper with God. She writes regularly and offers faith-building tools at www.KristiWoods.net. She contributes monthly at iBelieve.com and Crosswalk.com and is published in three Chicken Soup for the Soulpublications. Kristi, her husband, and their three children survived a nomadic, military lifestyle, and have set roots in Oklahoma. Connect with Kristi here: Facebook and Pinterest.